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A Letter Home

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James Howard

My brother Pat is in an artillery unit – somewhere near lots of water.

I keep my Shakespeare’s Complete Works close by me and treasure it.  I saved it from being burnt on a rubbish pile.  Some kind soul had donated it to the soldiers.

I also have a small copy of All Quiet on the Western Front, written by a German fellow during the First World War – and here we are again!  All quiet!?   He knew something about irony, that fellow.

My darling, how are all the folk at the Deer Park Hotel?

There is still lots of work to be done. Do raise a glass to all at the Deer Park and your sister Peg.

Remember my darling that it was at the Deer Park that I proposed to you.  I was married, you remember, in uniform, while on leave. 

I think of you my darling, all the time.  Remember when I come home, my lovely brown eyes, that we have lots and lots of “gardening” to attend to, and lots and lots of “garden” trimming too.

I am sorry to tell you my darling, that my school teacher mate, Ned Wallace, from the Bleak House pub, Middle Park, will not be coming home.  Scrub fever got him!  We hear him screaming at night.  He still thinks that he is back at the Bleak House pub, “I’ll have a pot this time Jim… my shout I believe.”  No, he will not be with us for much longer.

Finally, my darling, give a big kiss to Jimmy Mick and tell him that Daddy loves him and that he will be home soon – a long, long kiss for you my darling brown eyes, and I wish so much to be with you and Jimmy Mick. 

Your loving husband


New Guinea 1942

This edition